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Let’s face it, we’re all busy. We always have something going on, and not enough time in the day to do everything we want. It’s especially hard finding the time to do something we may not want to do, but we know is good for us. One of the top reasons people have for not working out or exercising is “not enough time.” There’s just not enough time to drop everything, get dressed, go to the gym, work out until our arms are about to fall off, come home, shower, and continue with everything else that we’re busy with throughout the day.
Well, as it turns out, getting a workout doesn’t have to be that complicated. There are a lot of great ways to squeeze a workout into things you do everyday. Fitting exercise into your routine, rather than trying to do something new, can be extremely effective. And here are even more ideas for little ways to get fit without going to the gym.
1. Sit on a Disk
Sit on a balance disk on your chair or floor
Maybe you liked the idea of sitting on a yoga ball, but can’t convince your boss to let you swap out your chair for a big comfy piece of rubber. Instead of going all out, try putting a small balance disk on top of your existing chair. While it won’t be quite the same effect as sitting on a giant ball, it will give your body and mind some of the benefits an exercise ball gives: instability and challenge. The micromovements your body will make while trying to stay balanced can provide a great core workout as you work or relax.
This type of inflatable balance disk is also very versatile. Sit on the floor with the disk as your cushion. Stand on it and find your balance, first with both legs, then try with just one. Work your way up to doing some body weight squats. Play around, switch things up, and challenge your body in ways it might not expect.
2. Break into a Squat
Do some squats and rest in the squatting position while watching TV or working
We sit a lot. We watch TV and movies, we work at our desks, we sit for our meals. TV and movies are a lot of fun, and it’s easy to get caught up with work without taking a break, but it’s tough on your body to just sit for 30 minutes to 12 hours. Even if you’ve already switched out your chair for an exercise ball or stability disk, you still need a break. A great way to stretch and work the body is with wonderful body weight squats. These are just about a full-body exercise, working the entirety of the muscles in the legs, core, and back, and with certain variations can work the arms as well.
Whether it’s getting up and doing a set of squats during commercials, between episodes, or just setting a timer for every 30 minutes, keeping some type of routine of breaks is a great way to keep active throughout the day. Another method is to skip the couch or chair altogether and rest in a full squat position. This is said to be a more natural way of sitting, putting the body in an anatomically neutral position. Try this out for short periods of time, and work your way up to longer sittings.
3. Brush Like a Pirate
Brush your teeth while standing on one leg
We’re supposed to brush our teeth for at least two minutes, at least twice a day. That sounds like a great opportunity for exercise. Take a cue from Long John Silver and train your balance and stability by standing on one leg. Switch legs every minute, or as long as it takes to do half of your mouth.
As an added challenge, brush with your non-dominant hand. This trains your body and mind to strengthen and increase control, and work its way toward being ambidextrous. Once you’ve mastered this, bring back those body weight squats, and squat while you brush.
4. Walk Before You Drive (And After)
Walk around the block before you get in your car, and after you leave your car
For those who have cars, it is usually because of necessity. We work too far from home to walk, public transportation is inconvenient, we take shopping trips with loads too large to carry, or we have friends and family that need help. As innocent as it starts, having a car tends to make us less inclined to walk anywhere.
Despite the time and effort saved by having a car, we still find ourselves not having time to walk or run. Instead of trying to carve out a section of time to get some leg-time in, squeeze in some quick exercise each time you use your car. Rather than walking directly from your home to your car, walk a quick lap around the block and then drive to your destination. Once you get there, take another quick walk around the block before you go inside. This guarantees that you’ll get a nice boost in steps for the day.
If you take public transportation, you may still find yourself sitting for long periods of time. Simply do the same before you get on your bus or train, and once you arrive. Or walk a bit further to the next bus/train stop, for an added boost of steps so you can make sure to hit those 10,000 a day.
Just make sure to leave yourself some extra time so you don’t show up late for work, or miss your bus.
Squeezing in these opportunities for exercise throughout your day are sure to give your body and mind a nice boost, without changing too much of your daily routine. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes.